Virtual Seminar

Testing Your Critiquing Skills: Site Navigation

September 2008

90 minutes

  • Give great critique and encourage the designer to be receptive and engaged in the discussion, instead of being defensive and argumentative
  • Use critique to encourage designers to become introspective and revisit underlying precepts of their design
  • Encourage other team members to use critique to look at other on-going work
Topics:

Opinions are cheap but insights are priceless. When looking over someone else's design, how do you ensure you're delivering valuable insights that bring new perspectives to the table?

The best critiques not only deliver value to the original designer, but to everyone involved, because it raises the discourse to the underlying fundamentals and goals, not just the specifics of color and font size. Learning to critique well is like many other skills: the more you practice, the better you get.

  • Give great critique and encourage the designer to be receptive and engaged in the discussion, instead of being defensive and argumentative

  • Use critique to encourage designers to become introspective and revisit underlying precepts of their design

  • Encourage other team members to use critique to look at other on-going work

We're going to focus this session on Site Navigation. We'll look at some interesting solutions and talk about what the designers have done well and where we might expect their users to run into issues. We'll see how these designs tackle some of the big challenges that many designers face when building large, complex web sites. We'll even look at other sites that have possibly solved the problems in other ways.

In this UIE Virtual Seminar, you'll get a chance to test out your critique skills. We've solicited four web sites from members of our audience, and have asked those teams a series of questions about their designs. To help you prepare, we've created the following preview of the event.

In the preview, I share the four sites we'll look at in the seminar. Watch the seminar and pick the sites you want to critique. (You'll want to plan to spend between 15 to 30 minutes exploring each site, then another 15 minutes writing up your thoughts on them. So, if you only have 45 minutes, just pick one site. If you can spare more time, choose accordingly.)

The four sites we'll look at are:
NASA
Management Sciences for Health
The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
Home Shopping Network

 

In the preview, I explain what we'll be critiquing on each site. Doing your own critique is optional, but it's the best way to get the most out of the seminar. If you're watching the seminar with your colleagues, there are two approaches: you could each critique a different site, so that you get coverage. Or you can each critique the same site and compare amongst yourselves.

 

Join us for this fun, interactive session where you and your colleagues will get a chance to test your skills and learn new techniques for providing insightful, constructive feedback.